IMI Hi-Torque Starter Setup Part III

The modified starter finally arrived from IMI.  IMI machined about 0.020″ from the top of the aluminum block to correct backlash and around 0.125″ from the starter housing to correct engagement.   When checking the distance between the starter pinion and flywheel teeth (IMI recommends between 0.040 to 0.100″) the feeler gauge measured 0.036″ but was slightly loose.  A 0.044″ stack wouldn’t fit so I estimate that the distance is probably right at 0.040″.  This time I used an acetylene tip cleaner to fit between the teeth to measure backlash.  One of the cleaners meaured in at 0.027″ and fit snug.  The next size up 0.033″ wire would not fit.  After the modifications I was very pleased with the fitment.  I was however concerned as to why they chose not to machine the starter that I sent back.  IMI elected to send a different starter.  I found this out only after I took it out of the box.  I could tell the starter was different a few ways.  The ring on the end of the pinion is black instead of gray.  I’m curious if they have had problems with the gray rings and opted to change material.  The same style starter was installed on the GTO and the ring broke in two after about a month.  When the starter was returned there was a black ring also.  The logo stickers are in slightly different locations.  The grain pattern on the aluminum mounting block was vertical on my original and horizontal on the replacement block.  Parting lines in the casting varied slightly.  Lastly, the starter housing and rubber boot is slightly greasy where the original was new and clean.  I don’t expect to have any problems with the replacement but I would have liked to be informed about the replacement.

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